Falafel (Fried Chickpea Nuggets)
Serve spicy falafel in a sandwich, as an appetizer, or as a snack. Falafel is made of soaked dried chickpeas, not cooked or canned ones. When the falafel balls are deep fried, the chickpeas become cooked. Be sure to fry safely when you make falafels.
Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus 12 hours soaking time
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Keeping kosher: Pareve
2 cups dried chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) (12 ounces)
16 large garlic cloves
1/4 cup small cilantro sprigs
1 slice stale unsweetened white bread, crusts removed
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons flour
About 6 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
Spread chickpeas on a plate and discard any stones.
Put chickpeas in a bowl of cool water that generously covers them.
Soak them in the water overnight or for 12 hours.
Drain in a colander and rinse.
Peel the garlic and mince it in a food processor.
Add cilantro to the processor and chop it with garlic.
Sprinkle the bread with about 2 tablespoons water; squeeze dry.
Add bread and chickpeas to processor and grind mixture until fine.
Add ground coriander, cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne, and flour.
Process to mix.
Transfer to a bowl.
Knead thoroughly with your hands.
You want to be sure mixture is well blended and evenly moistened. If the mixture feels too dry to shape in balls, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it’s lightly moistened.
Take 1 tablespoon of mixture and squeeze to compact it, then press it to a ball.
Roll ball lightly between your palms to give it a smooth round shape.
Repeat Steps 13 and 14 with the remainder of the mixture.
Heat the oil to about 350 degrees.
Use a deep frying thermometer to measure the oil’s temperature.
Carefully slip in 1/4 to 1/3 of the falafel balls.
Don’t drop them into the oil from high up, or you’ll splash the oil, making a mess and possibly causing burns.
Fry for 3 minutes, or until falafel balls are deep golden brown and coating is crisp.
Drain briefly on paper towels.
If the oil temperature has decreased, reheat it before adding more falafel balls.
Repeat Steps 17 through 19 for the remaining uncooked falafel balls.